Determined to make the most of my return to the party, I did my best to make a grand entrance. This was met with lackluster results as just as I rejoined the party the Emperor began a turn through our area of the grounds and my appearance went unnoticed. That is, until the Emperor turned in my direction. I breathed in a deep breath, released it, and performed my most glorious curtsy. Mama would be so proud. The Emperor even took note, and paused to comment on it. I was made!!! I could travel and dine on this for months if necessary. Suddenly eyes were on me and I was set upon making the most of it. I was also going to use this to get an audience with the Empress. I still wasn’t sure which side of the pair I intended to lend my efforts to but one way or the other I was going to make sure this bit of gossip was used to my advantage.
Unfortunately the musketeer guarding the empress turned me away as she was otherwise engaged, but he bade me to return later as she might see me then. I accepted this only a little bit miffed (after all I was here to help her – probably) but circled the party once more intent on returning later.
When I did return to gain audience with her, I told her of the gossip that had made it’s way around the party and offered to do my best to assist her in retrieving the jewels. She was horrified to learn that she was the subject of such unpleasant attentions and she explained that the rumors were indeed true. Worse, she had gifted the jewelry to a friend, the ambassador to Avalon, with the name of Cooper, and she refused to lose face in requesting the return of the gems despite her fear of facing the Emperor without them. I suggested she offer an exchange but still she refused. With this I had no answer that she would accept, so I took my leave but I was already devising a plan.
I was lost in thought as I made my way back through the party seeking Ambassador Cooper. I did not know what he looked like but I kept an eye out for a loud, brash Avalonian. I was quite disappointed in my search but I found out he had retired to his suite and I quickly made my way to his rooms. My plan was to trick him into making a wager which he would lose and I would win. My prize would of course be in the form of the Empress’s jewels and I would return them to her and she would be eternally grateful and she would make me one of her ladies in waiting, which would come with a large salary and some rooms here at the palace, and I would go everywhere with her until she found me a suitable royal match to some foreign prince, which I would accept to please her and my Grandmama. It was the perfect plan.
I knocked on the door and entered his room ready to make my first gambit but first I accepted the drink he offered. It was quite tasty so I happily accepted and second and then a third. After that I remembered trying to make a wager that would get me the jewels but I was having a very difficult time getting him to understand. He was getting quite hand-sy and he was plucking at my gown while I explained what I needed. I don’t know how long I had been there when suddenly Wolfie appeared and he seemed quite mad at the Ambassador. I’m not sure what Cooper had done but Wolfie was using his thunder voice which usually isn’t a good thing. I was still trying to explain that it was important for me to get the jewels but Wolfie was taking me away and I was sooo sad. No jewelry, no prince. Noooooo…..